So this happened on Saturday, and I was lucky to be a part of it. As most of you know, I’m Director of Communication for the Kentucky Soybean Board, and we run the Kentucky Livestock Coalition out of our office as well. This pic is from the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show, and the Coalition was one of the two major sponsors.
The Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show is held in Rupp Arena, Darlin’, and that is the Mother Ship for all UK Wildcats fans (C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS!!!)
We handed out reusable grocery bags pre-stuffed with literature about food and farming here in Kentucky, and a GMO 101 brochure.
We had the BEST conversations about food and farming and farming practices with foodies. It was great! We spoke with folks who are pro GMO, anti-GMO, and some who were not-so-sure about GMO technology.
The big takeaway on that subject was that there have been zero negative health effects in humans and food animals scientifically attributed to GMOs. That said, if you’re still not sure, then you’re blessed to live in America where you have food available and the money to buy it, even if you choose to spend more on non-GMO or organic items. Then we talked about those who are food insecure here in the US, and the people who are starving to death in other parts of the world, and how GMOs can be literal lifesavers (or sight-savers in the case of Golden Rice) for those folks.
Some wanted to know the difference in GMO plant breeding and ‘letting nature take its course,’ and I was excited to be able to liken GMO technology to using a laser to turn ONE gene on or off instead of using a shotgun and getting that one gene, but with a bunch of side effects.
We had several farmers in our booth, which was awesome and credible, and representatives from our state poultry, pork, beef and dairy organizations, all answering questions.
Most of the attendees were refreshingly open-minded, and SO MANY told me ‘wow,- I really learned some stuff at your booth today.’ Several said ‘well… I guess I need to think about this some more.’ They were actually happy to have the literature we have them, in an environment that was totally adult/foodie trick-or-treat!!
I talked to a guy who lives in a hilly region of our state who said his neighbor ‘planted some no-till crops’ this year, and he wanted to know what that meant and if it was good. We talked about that being a management practice, not so much a specific kind of seed as he had thought, and that turned into a long conversation about erosion, sustainability and stewardship.
Many people played Trivia – we had some household/grocery type trivia questions and gave prizes to those who either asked us a question about food or farming or answered questions that we asked. One of my favorite questions to ask was “you’re baking brownies, you’re in the baking aisle at the grocery. You see olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil. What’s in the bottle labeled vegetable oil?” Lotta people learned that the answer is soybean oil, and they had never even really thought about it before.
We gave out a LOT of food safety information, a ton of great CommonGround literature, and samples of food cooked onsite.
Not one person said the word Subway. Not. One.
It’s easy to get discouraged in our AGvocating efforts, so I wanted to share the success of some of Kentucky’s farmers and commodity organizations with y’all.
We ARE making strides, ladies. Keep up the good work.